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Jon A Duff
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Bushwick

ARTIST STATEMENT: Science fiction, humor, evolutionary psychology and speculative realist philosophy all greatly influence my work. I poke fun at the human experience through sculptures and painting which express a disorderliness which is half slapstick and half apocalyptic. Most recently I have been creating wall-mounted assemblages of objects that I find, purchase or cast from life. The works are made either in plexiglass boxes or on minimal plywood shelves. The plexiglass boxes often take the form of portraits. Through these works I consider and humorously act out the contemporary struggle between our individual humanist and our collective post-humanist values affecting our life and identity. I take melodramatic ideas and push them into the realms of the trivial and absurd with the use of humorous and surrealistic juxtapositions. My works on shelves usually take the form of landscapes. These arrangements most often consist of plastic plants, sticks and slime, while almost all of them include an office humor coffee mug. In most of the sculptures, the landscape threatens to consume the mugs in biological overgrowth and slime. I simultaneously spotlight and diminish these kitschy stand-ins for our mundane experience. I present this work as a humorous representation of our stubborn tendency to exaggerate our personal concerns in the face of an uncaring universe. All of the plants, sticks and other objects used are individually cast from life in resin and hand painted, thus creating a completely constructed reality. Text is often an important element in my work, whether it is expressed through the title or directly present in the work itself. My work is not meant to be a statement, however. If it is meant to communicate anything at all, it is humorous cynicism of our anthropocentric perspective. I am using the abilities I have as a crazy ape in a disordered world to act out and make discoveries.

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Born 1986, Oconomowoc, WI
Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY


2012 — MFA, Maryland Institute College of Art
2010 — Certificate in Web Design, Minneapolis Community Technical College
2008 — BFA, University of Minnesota—Twin Cities



2014 — MINT Gallery, GA
2014 — Lowest Bidder, Bedford Gallery, VA
2009 — Jon Duff and Contemporary, 1419 Gallery, MN

Selected Group

2016 — Fabled Mechanisms, Altered Esthetics, MN
2016 — Landscapes, BFP Creative, NY
2015 — Flat File: Year Three, Tiger Strikes Asteroid, NY
2015 — The Soul & The Pawn Shop, Sediment Arts, VA
2015 — Mind The Gaps, Sediment Arts, VA
2014 — Seeking Space, Be Electric, NY
2014 — Live Amateurs, MINT Gallery, GA
2013 — Body Dirt, The Refrigerator Artspace, VA
2013 — From Joy To Terror, Delaware Center For Contemporary Art, DE
2013 — From Joy To Terror, School 33, MD
2012 — Sondheim Finalist Exhibition, Baltimore Museum of Art, MD
2012 — A-Tent-ion, Artscape, MD
2011 — Strength In Numbers, Scope Miami, FL
2011 — Reformation, ME
2011 — The Crunch, City Arts, MD
2010 — Valley Peasant, MD
2010 — Waste/Loss, Gallery 500, MD
2010 — Foot in the Door 4, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, MN
2009 — Walls Were So Last Year, 1419 Gallery, MN
2008 — Minneapolis Center For Photography, MN
2007 — UMN Scholarship Exhibition, Regis Art Center MN


2012 — Triangle Artists' Workshop
2011 — Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture

Awards and Recognitions

2015 — 8 Artists to Watch from the 2015 Bushwick Open Studios, Hyperallergic
2014 — Best In Show, Live Amatuers, MINT Gallery
2013 — Barbara Bishop Emerging Artist Award
2012 — Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize Finalist
2011 — MICA Graduate Research Grant
2010 — Mt. Royal Graduate Scholarship, Maryland Institute College of Art
2007 — Katherine E. Nash Studio Art Scholarship, Katherine E. Nash Foundation
2004 — Jim Dowd Scholarship, Jim Dowd Foundation
2003 — Rod Rahn Scholarship, Rod Rahn Foundation


2013 — New American Paintings, No. 105, MFA Annual
2012 — Skowhegan Print Publication, SENSORIUM


2013 — Pursuit of Purpose: Artist Jon Duff
2012 — Oconomowoc Enterprise

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